Revolution As Religion

by Al Benson Jr.

Since all things are inescapably religious, it seems to reason that revolution is also religious. And by the term “religious” I don’t necessarily mean Christian. Revolution is the complete overturning of an old order and replacing it witj something supposedly entirely different. Hence the anti-Christian revolutionary will seek to overthrow the Christian faith and its revealed truth with the tenets of his own religion, whatever that might be.

Adam Zamoyski wrote an interesting book several years ago called Holy Madness. In it he gave some interesting insights into the mindset of revolutionaries. In describing some of what happened during the French Revolution, Zamoyski noted: “The nation had replaced the king as the sovereign and therefore as the validating element in the state. The dead king’s God had been superseded by ‘Our Lord Mankind’ to use the words of one prominent revolutionary.” He would have been telling us, in rather straightforward fashion, that the concept of nationhood, as we have it today, is a product of the French Revolution. And, if that be the truth, it is fraught with problems we have hardly begun to deal with in our day.

Zamoyski observed that: “The element of Christian teaching that aroused the particular ire of the eighteenth-century clerisy was the doctrine of original sin–that all men are born with the taint of Adam and need to redeem themselves…What men needed, in their view, was not salvation but education, which would liberate them from all the superstitions born of ignorance. They heaped, ridicule on the Christian belief in an afterlife and attacked the concept of abnegation and sacrifice leading to sanctity.” He noted Rousseau’s writings, which argued that man was born essentially good, but that civilization had corrupted him. Try explaining that one to a headhunter in the Amazon and see how far you get!

If we follow his criteria, then we must, in all honesty, conclude that the Unitarian and socialist founders of government schools in this country were, themselves, indeed revolutionaries, cut from the same mold as those in France who marched countless scores off to the guillotine in their feeble efforts to rid the world of “sin” as they saw it. The only difference between here and France is that our revolutionaries had not got to the guillotine–yet.

The founders of our government (public) school system, like Rousseau and the French revolutionaries, viewed man and his nature as essentially good. Since they mostly viewed orthodox Christianity as anathema, (they seemed to have a problem admitting they were sinners like the rest of us mere mortals) they felt that man could be perfected by changing the environment around him. And they began by trying to get men to recognize their own goodness by reaching out to reeducate their children. They felt if they could just get rid of the influence of those narrow, bigoted Calvinist church schools and get the children into proper (lacking in Christian doctrine) schools, then they could change the course of humanity. Children could then be taught (minus any real Christian influence) to develop their own potential, to express their own feelings, to subtly repudiate what their parents had taught them at home, and hence, to eventually pledge their troth to the new secular messiah–the state–“our Lord Mankind” as it were. If you listened to these anti-Christian visionaries, they were going to wipe out crime and poverty in a generation with their government-sponsored “education.” If you look at the schools and the country in our day–how has that worked out for you? Over 150 years later they are still piping the same tune. Their standard reply when you question them is “Well if we just had more of your money we could really provide the kids a ‘quality’ education.” That was hogwash 100 years ago and it still is today.

Until the churches in this country begin to wake up to the fact that government schools do, indeed, sponsor a competing anti-Christian religion, our culture and heritage will continue to spin their wheels and to seek out political solutions when we should be looking for spiritual ones. If “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” then those who teach our young people otherwise are not giving them true wisdom but folly. If Christians as a whole begin to wake up to this, we may begin to make progress, but until then…

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